Her Name Is Mercy are the current Independent Band of the Year for this blog, and although I've been trying my best to keep up with announcing their shows throughout the year, I am long overdue to review their recent album 'Oceans'.
The first track is simply entitled 'Intro', and sets the mood for the album. Fade-in with the sound of ocean waves washing upon the shore, and gulls squawking in the background. Then a minor key melody begins playing on piano. Cellos join in on the melody, then synthetic percussion followed by true bass-drumming. Lastly come the electric guitars with their powerful heavy riffs. All this is simply to prepare you for the over-the-top intensity that is to follow.
'Faceless' is non-stop riffage and hardcore screams. Vocalist Kory Rogers' voice dwells in the guttural death-metal range for much of the song. This song's formula may be the norm for the album,but there are a few small departures...
'Aftermath' is without a doubt the biggest departure for Her Name Is Mercy on this collection of songs. A clean-tone melodic guitar at the start lets you know this song has something different to offer. While this soft riff continues at a mild tempo, a lead guitar joins the mix. These solos are reminiscent of Metallic's 'Fade to Black'. In fact, 'Aftermath' does for Oceans what 'Fade to Black' did for Ride the Lightning; it gives the album some true variety and depth, making it more memorable in the process.
'Oceans', the title track, is probably the album's crowning achievement. It may not provide anything new, but the intensity, hardcore heaviness, and downright insanity of the vocal delivery are done with some intangible precision that elevates this track a notch above the rest. They even have a music video for this one. Check it out:
For any of you who appreciate hardcore and death metal, take a minute to download Oceans from Her Name Is Mercy. It's currently available for free/name-your-price through their bandcamp page: http://hernameismercyofficial.bandcamp.com/releases